Poorest Cities In New Jersey For 2021


We used science and data to determine which places in New Jersey are basically dead broke.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the poorest places in New Jersey.

New Jersey brings to mind images of Trenton, beautiful landscapes, and some of the best people you'll find in the good ole US of A.

However, like all states, New Jersey has certain places that are going on hard times. These places have an above average percent of people that are living in poverty, out of work, or not making as much as they should be.

With all the talk about income inequality going on around the country, we thought it prudent to take a look at the places in each state that are struggling to make it even as the economy continues to improve. So we set our sites on bringing attention to the places in New Jersey that could use a helping hand.

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 188 places in New Jersey with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the ten poorest places in New Jersey for 2021:

  1. Camden
  2. Atlantic City
  3. Trenton
  4. Newark
  5. Wildwood
  6. Asbury Park
  7. East Orange
  8. Pleasantville
  9. Keansburg
  10. Bridgeton

Again, this isn't a commentary on the people that live there or the vibrant culture and traditions of these places. Instead, it's just a look at the facts.

What's the poorst city in New Jersey? According to the facts, Camden is the poorest place in New Jersey for 2021.

Rich people more your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the best places in New Jersey or the most dangerous.

For more on how we calculated the top ten, and for more information about these places, read on.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the poorest states in America or the poorest cities in America.

For more New Jersey reading, check out:

The 10 Poorest Cities In New Jersey For 2021

1. Camden

Camden, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 74,002
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $27,015 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.9% (highest)
Poverty Rate: 36.4% (2nd highest)
More on Camden:  Data | Photos

Camden, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in New Jersey thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.

The city of 74,002 people averages the lowest median household income in New Jersey and the 2nd highest poverty rate. At the very least, the cost of living ranks in the bottom 15% of place in the state, so things like housing are relatively affordable.

2. Atlantic City

Atlantic City, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 37,999
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Income: $29,232 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.6% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 37.1% (highest)
More on Atlantic City:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in New Jersey is Atlantic City.

The city ranks as having the highest incidence of poverty and 2nd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate 'only' ranks as the 3rd highest in the Garden State.

3. Trenton

Trenton, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 83,412
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Income: $35,402 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.4% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 28.7% (5th highest)
More on Trenton:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Trenton's median income ranks as the 4th lowest.

And that's a sign that there's a relatively substantial jump in the quality of the economy from second to third place on our list. The poverty rate is 28.717585340991025% and ranks near the bottom of places in the state.

But what makes up for the relatively low incomes of the city is its low cost of living. The income you do make here goes further than in most parts of the Garden State.

4. Newark

Newark, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 281,054
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $35,199 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.3% (7th highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.4% (7th highest)
More on Newark:  Data | Photos

Newark ranks as the fourth poorest place in New Jersey.

The town ranks as having the 3rd lowest median household income and the 7th highest incidence of poverty in the state.

That being said, there's still a ton of cultural diversity in the city as it hosts many events throughout the year.

5. Wildwood

Wildwood, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,042
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Income: $41,888 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.5% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 19.4% (16th highest)
More on Wildwood:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in New Jersey is Wildwood.

The city ranks as having the 9th lowest median income in the state. However, an extremely low cost of living prevents a good number of folks from living in poverty as the poverty rate only ranks as the 16th highest in New Jersey.

Still not the best news for Wildwood.

6. Asbury Park

Asbury Park, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 15,597
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $47,841 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.0% (11th highest)
Poverty Rate: 25.8% (10th highest)
More on Asbury Park:  Data | Photos

Asbury Park ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Garden State.

It ranks as having the 10th highest incidence of poverty and the 11th highest unemployment rate.

7. East Orange

East Orange, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 64,374
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Income: $48,072 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.6% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 18.0% (2highest)
More on East Orange:  Data | Photos

East Orange places as the seventh poorest city in New Jersey.

The city of over 64,374 ranks as having the 2highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

8. Pleasantville

Pleasantville, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 20,301
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Income: $40,991 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.8% (18th highest)
Poverty Rate: 23.2% (12th highest)
More on Pleasantville:  Data | Photos

Pleasantville ranks as the eighth poorest city in New Jersey.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 18th highest in the state.

9. Keansburg

Keansburg, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 9,735
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $52,321 (18th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.9% (12th highest)
Poverty Rate: 26.3% (9th highest)
More on Keansburg:  Data | Photos

Keansburg couldn't stay out of the top ten poorest places in New Jersey; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 18th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Keansburg ranks as having the 9th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in New Jersey.

10. Bridgeton

Bridgeton, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 24,540
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Income: $37,804 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (34th highest)
Poverty Rate: 31.2% (4th highest)
More on Bridgeton:  Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in New Jersey is Bridgeton.

The city of 24,540 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Garden State.

How We Determined The Poorest Places In New Jersey for 2021

The first thing that comes to most people's minds when they think about determining the poorest places is to simply the poverty rate. That is, the number of people living below a federally established level of income for a household of a certain size.

However, we don't think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the "poorest places". So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2015-2019 American Community Survey:

  • Poverty Level
  • Median Household Income adjusted for the cost of living
  • Unemployment Rate

The "median household income adjusted for the cost of living" attempts to gauge how expensive it is to live in a place and how that impacts the quality of life. For example, a town might have fewer people living below the official poverty line, but the cost of living is so high they'd still feel poor.

The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for improvement in the city or town. If more people are employed, the brighter the future looks and vice versa.

After we collected the data for all 188 places with more than 5,000 people in New Jersey, we ranked each place from 1 to 188 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the poorest.

We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a "Poor Score" with the place having the lowest overall Poor Score, Camden, crowned the "Poorest Place In New Jersey For 2021". You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Poorest Places In New Jersey For 2021

Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the poorest places in New Jersey, we weren't sure what we'd encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in New Jersey.

When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very bottom of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.

If you're curious enough, here are the richest cities in New Jersey, according to data:

    Richest: North Caldwell
    2nd Richest: Haddonfield
    3rd Richest: Rumson

For more New Jersey reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In New Jersey

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Camden 74,002 36.4%
2 Atlantic City 37,999 37.1%
3 Trenton 83,412 28.7%
4 Newark 281,054 27.4%
5 Wildwood 5,042 19.4%
6 Asbury Park 15,597 25.8%
7 East Orange 64,374 18.0%
8 Pleasantville 20,301 23.2%
9 Keansburg 9,735 26.3%
10 Bridgeton 24,540 31.2%
11 Paulsboro 5,904 18.0%
12 Plainfield 50,362 21.2%
13 Burlington 9,815 13.3%
14 New Brunswick 55,960 34.4%
15 Millville 27,721 16.5%
16 Lindenwold 17,320 14.2%
17 Ventnor City 10,095 12.8%
18 Long Branch 30,516 18.7%
19 Woodbury 9,861 19.2%
20 Passaic 70,019 28.6%
21 Vineland 60,034 13.7%
22 Bellmawr 11,398 15.2%
23 Pine Hill 10,442 10.7%
24 Elizabeth 128,333 17.6%
25 West New York 52,662 19.9%
26 Guttenberg 11,317 14.4%
27 Paterson 145,710 26.6%
28 Glassboro 19,826 24.4%
29 Bayonne 65,091 13.5%
30 Phillipsburg 14,344 17.6%
31 Gloucester City 11,248 10.7%
32 Pitman 8,805 12.1%
33 North Plainfield 21,501 13.0%
34 Fairview 14,258 11.3%
35 Prospect Park 5,865 17.3%
36 Union City 68,226 19.6%
37 Hackett 9,485 11.6%
38 Dunellen 7,252 12.5%
39 Roselle 21,637 8.2%
40 Palmyra 7,189 10.4%
41 Somerdale 5,448 10.2%
42 Harrison 17,213 16.4%
43 Washington 6,490 8.0%
44 Clayton 8,626 10.1%
45 Keyport 7,034 10.0%
46 Jersey City 261,940 17.2%
47 Little Ferry 10,782 10.3%
48 Somers Point 10,321 11.9%
49 Absecon 8,362 7.7%
50 Haledon 8,325 11.5%
51 Hammonton 14,139 10.2%
52 Carteret 23,589 13.1%
53 Perth Amboy 51,678 19.0%
54 Belmar 5,624 11.9%
55 Lodi 24,430 10.4%
56 Linden 42,222 8.3%
57 Eato 12,214 11.2%
58 South River 16,001 7.2%
59 Wharton 6,474 8.1%
60 Englewood 28,353 11.6%
61 Stratford 6,971 9.1%
62 Ridgefield 11,227 8.7%
63 Hight 5,375 10.8%
64 Red Bank 12,072 13.5%
65 Collingswood 13,912 7.2%
66 Hackensack 44,339 13.4%
67 South Amboy 8,772 6.4%
68 Freehold 11,797 16.4%
69 Beachwood 11,226 9.2%
70 Palisades Park 20,604 12.1%
71 Kearny 41,412 10.3%
72 Highland Park 13,883 10.0%
73 Manville 10,230 11.1%
74 Dover 17,977 9.8%
75 Garfield 31,645 16.0%
76 Union Beach 5,390 10.6%
77 Wallington 11,540 9.0%
78 Newton 7,910 11.4%
79 Bloomingdale 8,088 8.4%
80 Northfield 8,153 6.0%
81 Somerville 12,085 6.7%
82 Mil 6,998 5.7%
83 Runnemede 8,327 8.3%
84 Spotswood 8,269 6.4%
85 Clifton 85,204 9.8%
86 Woodland Park 12,547 11.4%
87 Roselle Park 13,581 4.8%
88 Bogota 8,360 5.5%
89 Brigantine 8,832 7.5%
90 Jamesburg 5,921 6.4%
91 Sayreville 44,292 7.0%
92 Middlesex 13,662 7.0%
93 Cliffside Park 25,126 9.8%
94 Raritan 7,865 5.7%
95 Elmwood Park 20,059 8.0%
96 Rahway 29,543 6.2%
97 Barrington 6,716 6.1%
98 New Milford 16,545 7.0%
99 Wanaque 11,709 5.5%
100 Bound Brook 10,288 8.1%

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